TNT Diner

Good eats and drinks around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Category: Second Bite

Jan.
17th

Second bites: Revisiting Tacoma eateries My Greek and Soul

My Greek owner Nader Morcos with a plate of lamb souvlaki. Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer
My Greek owner Nader Morcos with a plate of lamb souvlaki. Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer

As this paper’s dining critic, one of my favorite functions is to master the art of a second bite — or a “do-over,” as I call them.

In Part 2 of my series where I revisit restaurants that had shaky starts when they opened in 2013, I’m featuring two eateries on the verge of getting it right.

Sometimes I’ll find a restaurant performing well for food but still struggling — or flopping — in another area. Today’s column features two restaurants that exemplify that: The food has improved, while service or atmosphere still need tending.

Are they still worth your dining dollars? I say yes, but with reservations. Both restaurants deliver styles of cuisine in short supply in the South Sound. Yet will diners be as forgiving of the lapses as I am? Only time and your dining dollars will tell. Read more »

Jan.
10th

Second bites: Revisiting Netshed No. 9 and Art House Cafe

The Rubenesque panini - made with pickles and pastrami - at Netshed No. 9 in Gig Harbor.
The Rubenesque panini – made with pickles and pastrami – at Netshed No. 9 in Gig Harbor. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

Call it third helpings.

A re-dine. A do-over.

One of my favorite things to do as this paper’s hired belly is to tell success stories about restaurants that have pulled a great turnaround.

In 2013, we saw a cascade of openings that made the South Sound a more robust dining region. While some restaurants nailed the concept on their first try, others proved they required more time to settle into their kitchens.

This Friday and next, I’ll be writing about third helpings of restaurants that debuted in 2013 with concepts I applauded, but with shaky early deliveries.

Today?

They’re performing just fine. Read more »

June
5th

Veg-friendly: Crepes at Savor Tacoma Creperie

My vegetarian friends, I’m always looking out for you. Opened April 18, Savor Tacoma Creperie has brought a style of dining that downtown Tacoma much needed:  stylish, quick dining and something sure to be a hit in that stretch of downtown – vegetarian friendly dining.

Savor lists six crepe scrambles, three of which are vegetarian friendly.
Savor lists six crepe scrambles, three of which are vegetarian friendly.

Owner Tom Vigue, who is a newcomer to Tacoma, but not to restaurants, has designed a menu of more than two dozen crepes – about a dozen each of savory and sweet, along with a half dozen crepe scrambles. Here’s the bonus – more than half the menu is vegetarian.

Read more »

May
23rd

Second bites: Netshed No. 9 in Gig Harbor, Whitehouse Restaurant in Bonney Lake

Yum! Burgers! Click below to see where I found this delicious pile of meat and bun.
The Whitehouse makes it easy to cut your burger, the kitchen stabs a knife right into the center for you, before serving.

When new restaurants open, occasionally I’ll find flustered service or a kitchen producing less-than-stellar results. That’s why I return for a second visit to test whether the restaurant is suffering the usual aches of fledgling restaurants, or if there’s a bigger problem. Unlike diners who turn to review websites to post “I hate you! So there!” assessments after a single visit, newspaper critics who follow AFJ standards always return to the scene of the crime a second, third or fourth time. Here are second bites of two restaurants that earned mixed reviews after first-bite visits in April. Read more »

Nov.
30th

Dig into a classic – Pacific Grill in downtown Tacoma

Sue Kidd checks in on Pacific Grill, one of Tacoma’s finest eateries, run by Tacoma native Gordon Naccarato. As the holiday season unfolds and diners search for locations to celebrate, Pacific Grill should top their lists.

Oct.
29th

Cliff House upstairs dining offers much to savor, but lunch needs some work

The scenic view from the dining room of the Cliff House Restaurant in Tacoma. Photo by Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer

Readers started calling within days of The Cliff House Restaurant’s closure last December. Then followed e-mails. More phone calls, then e-mails. Never have I received such an outpouring in response to a closure.

As many readers noted, the Cliff House long has been a Tacoma treasure. “A Browns Point landmark,” one caller lamented about the closure. “I loved going down there,” said Federal Way resident Mark McConnehey with dismay when he phoned after the restaurant shuttered. He wistfully recalled his habit of taking out-of-town visitors to the Cliff House to soak in the sweeping Commencement Bay views with the backdrop of downtown Tacoma and Mount Rainier. Read more »